The Modeling Life

Overview

"Through the years, Donna has become a friend to many young models just starting out. For most, she gave them their first start. Think of her as your friend and take her advice, and learn about this exciting career you've been thinking about."--Barbara Taylor, mother of models Niki and Krissy

What's it really like to be a fashion model? How did top models get their big breaks? Do I have what it takes to break into this business? If you have ever asked any of these questions, The...

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Overview

"Through the years, Donna has become a friend to many young models just starting out. For most, she gave them their first start. Think of her as your friend and take her advice, and learn about this exciting career you've been thinking about."--Barbara Taylor, mother of models Niki and Krissy

What's it really like to be a fashion model? How did top models get their big breaks? Do I have what it takes to break into this business? If you have ever asked any of these questions, The Modeling Life is the book for you -- and Donna Rubinstein is the woman to answer them.

As the model editor of Seventeen magazine, Rubinstein has helped launch countless careers, including those of such big names as Niki Taylor, Kate Moss, Cameron Diaz, and Liv Tyler. Now, in The Modeling Life: The One (And Only) Book That Gives You the Inside Story of What Business Is Like and How You Can Make It, she goes behind the scenes with today's top models and shows how dreams can come true. Young hopefuls will learn about a model's day-to-day routine, the highs and lows of the career, and how one can achieve a balanced life in an ever-changing industry.

Through interviews with more than 50 models, including Niki Taylor, Beverly Peele, Navia Nguyen, and Jaime Rishar, and anecdotes from her more than ten years in the business, Rubinstein gives practical advice and an insider's glimpse into the world so many young women dream of. She covers every aspect of the modeling industry, including:

  • Tips on getting and dealing with an agent
  • A step-by-step guide to how the industry works
  • Scams to know and avoid
  • Lists of modeling agencies, conventions, and contests
  • A quiz that can help young girls determine, "Are You Cut Out to Be a Model?"
  • Diaries of photo shoots
  • Priceless tips from models themselves

"I lecture at modeling conventions, appear on television talk shows, and get inquires from all corners of the globe about modeling," writes Rubinstein. "The most common questions I am asked, over and over again, are 'How can I get into modeling?' 'Do I have what it takes to be a model?' and 'What is it really like to be a fashion model?' For every young person who has asked me those questions, as well as for those who have always wondered, I have written this book."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399524097
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/12/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, May 14th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Donna Rubinstein to discuss THE MODELING LIFE.


Moderator: Welcome to the barnesandnoble.com author Auditorium. We are excited to welcome the model editor of Seventeen magazine, Donna Rubinstein, here to discuss her new book, THE MODELING LIFE. Welcome, Donna Rubinstein! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?

Donna Rubinstein: Great, thanks for having me.


Josie from Oklahoma City, OK: I am a 16-year-old high school junior. Everybody tells me that I should be a model. I am kind of modest and don't know if it is what I want to do. Any suggestions?

Donna Rubinstein: The first thing to do is to know if you want to pursue this, because it takes a great deal of dedication and hard work. Modeling is not just about being pretty, it is a business. Have a family member take a snapshot of you and send it to the top modeling agencies in major cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These are the major market areas for modeling.


Jennifer23@aol.com from Rochester, NY: What is the best way to get an agent?

Donna Rubinstein: I cover this in my book. Make sure you submit your photo (as simple as a family snapshot) to reputable agents. Make sure that the agent does not ask for money up front to represent you. Send your photo and measurements (be sure there's a way for the agent to contact you). There is a directory of agents listed in the back of the book.


Niki from Sudbury, MA: What is your opinion of the TV show "Just Shoot Me"? What do you think about, here on the eve of "Seinfeld"'s last show, that the most coveted spot in TV is probably going to be filled with a show about a magazine similar to the one you work for? Do you see characters like the show has in your daily life at Seventeen?

Donna Rubinstein: Anything that you see on TV is overdramatized. I worked at a teen magazine, and our objective was to help teenagers across the country, not to worry about the personal lives of the staff. Although I think the show is funny, it is not very realistic.


Josie from NYC: What do you think about the current state of modeling? Do you think the business has changed for the better over the years?

Donna Rubinstein: I think that the industry is recognizing the diversity of the looks in the country by the choice of models that you see in magazines and advertising. I would like to think that the business has changed for the better, because one of my strong beliefs is that you are a person before a model, and that if everyone would bring their unique personal qualities into the business, it would be a healthier environment.


Brett from New York, NY: What was one of the most rewarding moments for you, working with the models at Seventeen magazine?

Donna Rubinstein: Working with girls right when they are starting out, who are so excited about the business and appreciative of every opportunity that they get, and then to see some of these girls going on to bigger careers. For example, my proudest discovery is Niki Taylor, who to me is the same person that I met when she was 14 years old.


Rudy from New Orleans, LA: Being such an integral part of the modeling scene, I am curious to get your feedback on the stereotypical heroin drug depiction that many of us have of the modeling life. Do you see it?

Donna Rubinstein: That look was a passing trend, thankfully so. There is a movement to a more healthy look of models today, where girls of all shapes and sizes are working.


Sharon from Scotch Plains, NJ: How important do you think height is in the modeling world? I have been told that I could model, but I am only about five feet one -- do you think I could possibly have a future in modeling?

Donna Rubinstein: The height standard in modeling has typically been five feet nine or taller. But recently, with the success of girls like Kate Moss and Jaime Rishar, we are seeing girls under five feet nine getting work. But it takes an exceptional face and good management to get these girls accepted by the industry. Girls that are under five feet nine may find work in commercials.


Rory from Florida: Hey Donna, I have two questions for you: 1)How do you overcome writer's block? 2) How did you come up with the idea for this book? What was the research like? Thanks a bunch!

Donna Rubinstein: 1) At the moment that you have a block, let it go. You can't force yourself through it -- let it happen. Work when the inspiration hits you, for example. I would write at one or two in the morning after staring at a blank page for hours. 2) It seemed like a natural extension of the work that I was doing. I was bombarded with questions from parents and girls about how to get into the industry, and I genuinely care about helping people keep a healthy perspective on the industry. The research was fun; the girls I interviewed, I have worked with, so it was fun to compile their stories.


Paul from Morris Plains, NJ: I really enjoyed the book, and I think it is a valuable work for aspiring models. My only question is, what is Niki Taylor like?

Donna Rubinstein: Thanks for reading the book. Niki is extremely down-to-earth. She is someone that has taken her outer beauty combined with her inner beauty and made a great career.


Matty from San Francisco: Do you have any hesitation in promoting modeling as a career choice for young women? Aren't there so many more durable dreams for them to have?

Donna Rubinstein: My advice for girls starting out in the business is to do it part-time. Stay in school. Agents and clients will work around your schedule. If you have the talent, your career will be much longer if you take it in stride and allow yourself to grow and mature in all areas of your life. Yes, modeling may be only short-lived, which is why it is important to finish your education and keep your other interests as well.


Daniel Lindquist from Gothenburg, Sweden: I think you are beautiful. How is the modeling life?

Donna Rubinstein: Thank you, but I am not a model.


Pasquale from Halifax, Canada: Do all those supermodel babes really hang out together at parties like you hear?

Donna Rubinstein: Many of the top models don't go out as much as the public thinks they do. Many of them have to be up early in the morning for work, looking well-rested, but a lot of the models do hang out together.


Jerome from Paradise Island, FL: Is modeling really as tough a profession as you hear people talking about? It seems unlikely.

Donna Rubinstein: Modeling is a lot more than having someone take your picture. A lot of it involves running around to meet clients, getting pictures taken for your portfolio, and meeting more clients. The majority of working models are not working every day for major magazines or advertisers.


Trevor from Florida: How did you ever become such a good writer? Someday I want to be a writer, and I want to knew how you got your start at writing. Answer this if you could.

Donna Rubinstein: I basically wrote what I know, and I had a professional writer help me. I was free to be creative, and she helped me compile it.


Rhonda from Astoria, NY: Do you find the racial split in modeling to be pretty fair? Does your book cover minorities in modeling?

Donna Rubinstein: It is great to see the industry recognizing the diversity of looks, but it is about selling, and much research goes into the racial split of the country and who is buying what products. Advertisers make the decision accordingly. Yes, the book includes girls of all racial backgrounds (who are doing quite well, I am happy to say).


Lexi from NYC: Do you think Los Angeles or New York is the best place to make it in the modeling industry here in the U.S.?

Donna Rubinstein: New York is arguably the modeling capital of the world, so girls are quite fortunate to start their careers there. I address in the book that you can start a modeling career near any of the major market cities, which I listed earlier. Each market typically has a certain look that does well in that market, so for some girls, her look might be better suited to start in Los Angeles.


Mark from Hanover, NH: Is your book of any use to aspiring male models?

Donna Rubinstein: Although it is geared toward girls, the same information applies to men. I am happy to say that the demand for males models has been increasing. Maybe that is a good second book.


Garty from Haverford, PA: Is the modeling industry opening up more for men? I used to read that male models made only a fraction of what women models make. Is this still true?

Donna Rubinstein: This is one of the few industries where women typically make more then men, but with the increased demand for them, it will be interesting to see if their rates increase.


Donna from Cherry Hill, NJ: Isn't it hard being around such beautiful girls all the time? How do you maintain a healthy outlook on appearance?

Donna Rubinstein: I think that a girl's beauty comes from inside. So I appreciate people for who they are. Outward beauty can fade but inward beauty never does.


Bob from Florida: When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Donna Rubinstein: I knew when I realized that I had a lot of valuable information to give an audience that is desperate for direction.


Veronica from Boise, ID: What is the best way to get discovered? Should I come to New York City or Los Angeles? Do I have any shot of being found out here in Idaho?

Donna Rubinstein: There are modeling conventions that bring agents from major markets to smaller cities across the country. A few are listed in the back of the book. The service they provide (for a fee) is to bring the agents to you so you don't have the expense of physically traveling to each major city. As I said before, you can send your photos to any of the major cities.


Marla from New York City: If you had to select one specific thing that you personally took away from all your years of experience in this business, what would it be?

Donna Rubinstein: It is so hard to choose just one, but I will say that I have learned so much not only about the industry but about myself and how to appreciate everyone as individuals.


Moderator: Donna, thank you so much for joining us tonight! One final question for the benefit of all the aspiring models out there who have tuned in tonight: Where can they send snapshots/measurements for you to take a look?

Donna Rubinstein: You can send this to: Donna Rubinstein, c/o Perigee Books, The Berkely Publishing Company, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.


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